The problem with the Jane Tanner sighting

The major problem with Jane Tanner’s sighting is simple – he’s going the wrong way.

According to Andy Redwood on Crimewatch of 14 Oct 2013, Jane Tanner’s sighting is almost certainly a father taking his 2-year-old daughter home from the Ocean Club night crèche. This attribution allows the timeline to change, meaning the later Smith sighting may be significant.

So how well does the sighting fit a dad taking his daughter home from the Ocean Club night crèche?

I have used the Crimewatch graphic of the crèche and the McCann apartment as the base. Jane Tanner is the blue dot heading up the hill. The yellow dots are the man she saw, moving from left to right as Jane saw him. As it happens, the pink dots are Gerry McCann and Jez Wilkins, having a chat in the street.

OC wrong way

A number of Madeleine case-watchers have pointed out that the man is going the wrong way. Even Jane Tanner, in her rogatory statement, says that her sighting’s movement does not fit a man taking a child home from the night crèche. He fits a man using a short-cut to go to the crèche, not one coming from the crèche.

Check #1. Andy says there were 8 families using the night crèche, (situated above the main Ocean Club reception) for 11 children on that night. Once contacted, one family thinks the sighting may be due to them. The Crimewatch presenter says Dad walked with daughter “near to” the McCann apartment.

A reconstruction was done with “the kind of clothes the man wore on holiday”. Andy Redwood says the child’s pyjamas were “uncannily similar” to those seen in the Tanner sighting. “We are almost certain now that this sighting is not the abductor.”

In summary, the man did not come forward, he was tracked from the records. He was “near to” the McCann apartment. For some reason, he remembers his clothes from 6 years earlier, and the clothes of the 2-year-old are also remembered. Could this be from photographs? Perhaps. But he is still going the wrong way!

Check #2. There are four main ways to go on foot from the Ocean Club night crèche to the Jane Tanner sighting vicinity. I have added the ´long´ (Rua Direita) and ‘short’ (cut through road opposite Tapas Bar) ways as tracks of red dots. These both fail because the Dad should have been walking in the same direction as Jane, not at right angles. He should have been walking up the very same hill that Jane was. But he wasn’t.

Then there are two even shorter routes using footpaths within the Ocean Club. These are marked in orange. Both of these fail because both miss Jane Tanner.

Check #3. Nothing fits so far, so can we make these non-fitting parts fit? Fortunately, several people have come up with ideas on how to bash things into shape.

How about – Dad was in a car or taxi that stopped near block 5 and so walked east (left to right) along the street, as Jane described. Unfortunately, the one way traffic system in Luz forces a counter-clockwise car flow. To get from the Ocean Club night crèche you had to go first east (right and up, as per the green dots), then north (up), then west (left), and finally down (as per the green dots near the top). That is, the car or taxi passed by where Dad wanted to be before reaching the McCann apartment. That implies a pretty mean car-driver or taxi-driver. All in all, this sounds good before you look into it, then it simply does not work.

How about – Dad was pissed, after all, he was on holiday, he’s a Brit, and Brits get pissed on holiday! This is not dis-provable, therefore I cannot disprove it. The major block here is Gerry and Jez in the street having a chat. They did not see Dad and child. (Mind you, they didn’t see Jane either.)

This suggests (but does not prove) that Dad did not take one of the two routes that head up past Gerry and Jez, but one of the two more direct footpaths marked in orange. However, in that case, drunk Dad went away from where he was staying, went past block 5 (missing Gerry and Jez), realised he was going the wrong way, turned and went back the right way, when he was seen by Jane. This is possible, but it is very unlikely.

How about – Dad was sober, but just not familiar with Luz? In this variation, Dad has not learned about the two orange footpath routes, so he takes one or other of the two considerably longer red routes. He heads up the hill, and where he should turn right to get home he turns left. After heading the wrong way for a while, he turns round and heads from left to right, which is what Jane Tanner sees. Perhaps he passed Gerry and Jez having a chat in the street and they did not notice him. Perhaps he passed through before they met.

In summary, we have a Dad who did not recognise himself for 6 years before being tracked down from crèche records. Who might, or might not, have been wearing clothes similar to the person in the Jane Tanner sighting. Who might be carrying, or not, a child in clothes similar to those of the Jane Tanner sighting. Who might, or might not, have been heading in the direction seen by Jane Tanner. And where the major problem with this direction is simple.

If he was taking a child home from the Ocean Club night crèche he was going the wrong way. Even Jane Tanner said this years ago!

What was the purpose of Crimewatch on 14 Oct 2013? It was not a documentary. It was not, as it claimed, the most accurate reconstruction to date. It opens with the McCann’s arriving in Luz with a double-buggy they did not have at that time. It omits the cadaver dog evidence. As an accurate reconstruction, it defines a fail.

So what was the real purpose of Crimewatch? It was designed to get people away from the idea that Jane Tanner saw the prime suspect.

If Jane´s sighting becomes ‘unimportant’, then everything else in the case becomes interesting. That includes – the Smith sighting – the charity collectors – the burglars – the vague sightings of men seemingly studying the McCann apartment. The programme did not mention paedophiles, or ‘unusual’ phone traffic between people who had ‘no reason to be in Luz’, but it covered most of the other bases.

It was a general fishing expedition at the start of a major phase of the investigation. Scotland Yard has already explained this is the beginning of a major phase. So there will be lots more to come.

Will it be better than a man going the wrong way from the Ocean Club crèche?



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